The information below is for an older proposed charter
|Document||Proposed charter||Domain Boundaries WG (dbound) Snapshot|
|State||IESG Review (Charter for Approval, Selected by Secretariat)|
|IESG||Responsible AD||Alexey Melnikov|
|Charter edit AD||Barry Leiba|
|Send notices firstname.lastname@example.org|
Various Internet protocols and applications require some mechanism for determining whether two domain names are related. The meaning of "related" in this context is not a unitary concept. The DBOUND working group will develop one or more solutions to this family of problems, and will clarify the types of relations relevant. For example, it is often necessary or useful to determine whether example.com and foo.example.com, or even example.net, are subject to the same administrative control. To humans, the answer to this may be obvious. However, the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the service that handles domain name queries, does not provide the ability to mark these sorts of relationships. This makes it impossible to discern relationships algorithmically. The right answer is not always "compare the rightmost two labels". Applications and organizations impose policies and procedures that create additional structure in their use of domain names. This creates many possible relationships that are not evident in the names themselves or in the operational, public representation of the names. Prior solutions for identifying relationships between domain names have sought to use the DNS namespace and protocol to extract that information when it isn't actually there. See the "Additional Background Information" section, below, for more details. For the purpose of this work, domain names are identifiers used by organizations and services, independent of underlying protocols or mechanisms. We define an "organizational domain" to be a name that is at the top of an administrative hierarchy, defining transition from one "outside" administrative authority to another that is "inside" the organization. The current way most of this is handled is via a list published at publicsuffix.org, and the general goal is to accommodate anything people are using that for today. However, there are broadly speaking two use patterns. The first is a "top ancestor organization" case. In this case, the goal is to find a single superordinate name in the DNS tree that can properly make assertions about the policies and procedures of subordinate names. The second is to determine, given two different names, whether they are governed by the same administrative authority. The goal of the DBOUND working group is to develop a unified solution, if possible, for determining organizational domain boundaries. However, the working group may discover that the use cases require different solutions. Should that happen, the working group will develop those different solutions, using as many common pieces as it can. Solutions will not involve the proposal of any changes to the DNS protocol. They might involve the creation of new resource record types. This working group will not seek to amend the consuming protocols themselves (standards for any web, email, or other such protocols) under this charter. If such work is desirable, it will be assigned to another appropriate working group or defined as a work item in an updated charter. Rechartering will only be considered after completion of the base work. The working group has a pre-IETF draft to consider as a possible starting point: draft-sullivan-dbound-problem-statement Milestones: - TBD Additional Background Information --------------------------------- [to be moved to a Wiki on chartering] The concept of an administrative boundary is by definition not present in the DNS. Relying on the DNS to divine administrative structure thus renders such solutions unreliable and unnecessarily constrained. For example, confirming or dismissing a relationship between two domain names based on the existence of a zone cut or common ancestry is often unfounded, and the notion of an upward "tree walk" as a search mechanism is, therefore, unacceptable. Currently, the most well known solution in existence is the Public Suffix List (PSL). The PSL is maintained by a web browser producer and is kept current by volunteers on a best-effort basis. It contains a list of points in the hierarchical namespace at which registrations take place, and is used to identify the boundary between so-called "public" names (below which registrations can occur, such as ".com" or ".org.uk") and the private names (organizational names) that domain registrars create within them. When this list is inaccurate, it exposes a deviation from reality that degrades service to some and can be exploited by others. As the PSL is the de-facto resource, and as there is not a more comprehensive, alternative solution for relationship identification, the PSL has often been misused to accomplish things beyond its capabilities. For example, there is no way to confirm the relationship between two domain names -- the PSL may only signal that there is or is not a public boundary between the two. Additionally, there are questions about the scalability, central management, and third-party management of the PSL as it currently exists. In terms of specific use cases, within the realm of email there is a desire to link an arbitrary fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) to the organizational domain name (at some point in the namespace above it), in order to identify a deterministic location where some sort of statement of policy regarding that FQDN can be found. With respect to the web, there is a similar need to identify relationships between different FQDNs, currently accomplished by comparing ancestries. However, there is also desire to reliably identify relationships outside of the realm and constraints of the namespace tree. Work such as DMARC (draft-kucherawy-dmarc-base), will certainly benefit from having this capability.